A new product come out on the market and it catches your eye.
You go about the normal process of researching the creators, checking out their competitors and finally making the decision on whether or not you are going to purchase it— the right there is the buyers journey, we take it almost everyday, probably more times than we could count.
As marketers have you considered what that journey means to you and what you can provide clients along the way?
Taking the time to understand the buyers journey helps highlight your path to success as well.
If you pay attention to all the stops along this so called journey, you’ll be able to answer questions for prospective clients early on and you can have relevant information readily available for them to consume from start to finish!
If you are able to demonstrate your value and knowledge to these individuals early on, the better off you’ll be and the more likely you will become that travelers final destination!
Below you’ll see how at each step you have a chance to set yourself apart from the rest.
Their Journey— You Design The Path
Awareness: A buyer at this stage becomes aware that they have a problem and they begin to ponder a solution.
Right now your buyer isn’t even fully aware of how to stop their issue, but they know there is one.
So how do you and your organization make a difference here?
This step is allow about how well you advertise your products and services and how clear it is to potential users, that you will bring ease to a difficult situation. This requires your team to have information available and to have the ability to provide education.
For these three stage we’ll use and individual whose regular gym has shut down. They had been a patron for a long time, but since the place is closed they find themselves wondering what to do next.
If you are the owners of a fitness app your ads and marketing content should consistently proclaim your value over that of a gym, so when customers like this one go searching for alternatives, you’re ads rise to the top!
More than likely the client will look for an exact replica of whatever it is they are lacking or are now missing.
Your job here isn’t to dupe this potential client into thinking they’ll be getting the same services, that doesn’t build trust; your job is to highlight the differences and describe how your services will better service that client in the long run.
If they are searching for gyms, detail how your app can provide an even better work out than the gym, with the added bonus of not having to leave your home.
It’s not easy to get someone to change their mind, especially when they have been doing something for a long time, but when they see the information you provide and their questions are being answered before they even have a chance to ask them, you’re close to winning them over!
Your job here is to remain visible, remain available, and reaffirm your commitment to their success and your mutually beneficial relationship.
All of this information is gathered and it’s finally time to sign on the dotted line, it’ll be a shock if this client doesn’t go for you.
Sure, you won’t win every time, maybe your ads will be seen by a client who really enjoys escaping home for their work out so you never really stood a chance, but thats the outlier.
More often than not, clients will find something new, exciting, and engaging and leap at a chance to try it.
If you’re able to demonstrate your acuity in whatever space you hold, clients will see that, be attracted to it, and find it hard to resist.
While traveling along this journey with your prospective clients your goal is to paint yourself as the only logical option.
Your content and marketing will have to shine and stand out and to do that they need to be accurate and engaging to those that are looking.
The destination is you, your team, and your services— your competitors only purpose should be to highlight your superability.
According to the White House Office of Consumer Affairs, it is 6-7x more costly to attract a new client than it is to retain a current one, this means when you get a new client it’s essential to keep them on and to keep them happy, that way that money earned can be reinvested into perfecting your buyers journey and growing your organization!
The buyers journey is an essential process of their decision making, and it is essential to all organizations successes— we have the power to plant detours, detract buyers away from competitors and steal their attention and focus and eventually attain their business.
While taking that journey it is our job as the service providers to find “potholes” and “rough terrain”
The journey is just as unique as each individual client is, and one method of transport won’t work for everyone; your job is to know every route and every possible method of transportation a client could take and make yourself shine in each and every situation.
You and I travel this road often as the buyer, we know what works and what doesn’t, it would be foolish to think of our prospective clients as individuals much different from ourselves, surely there will be differences, but an organization that is smart, that grabs my attention, and that had data and knowledge to back up their claims will always be at the top of my list.
Now that you understand the buyers journey and how you can course correct to make yourself the destination.
How We Advertise Has Changed During COVID, Here’s Why That’s Good
Hit with a pandemic people around the world in every workforce have found themselves shuffling, unsure of what to do or how long to do it; we’ve settled into the new normal now, and here is what we’ve learned.
At the root of it, marketing is gaining access, it’s about reaching out to an individual and making a connection and that connection hopefully leads to a mutually beneficial partnership.
We’ve found ourselves in a situation where access isn’t the issue, we know everyone is at home and we know they are all paying attention, but right now what is difficult is finding the right thing to say.
This crisis has torn opened the curtain and exposed what was lacking in some marketing techniques and we’re going to highlight a few of our takeaways.
What Have We Noticed In Ads Recently?
A Human Touch: The truth of the situation is bleak, people are dying, people are out of work, and people are feeling hopeless.
Running ads that fail to mention any of this shines a light on the disconnect many people feel with organizations, it highlights a breakdown in communication and can only be fixed through human intervention.
No code or AI and comprehend the complexities of humanity. What we’ve seen and will continue to see is a stripped back, more honest voice from many organizations.
CEO’s have written open letters, campaigns have been discontinued, and brands let people know that they are listening and that they are aware.
A human touch is needed because this is a human issue, something that has crossed all borders and every boundary.
If your marketing didn’t change, that meant you weren’t paying attention, that ignorance is hardly ever ignored by the consumer.
Stay On Topic: Simply posting once about something so life changing isn’t enough.
Your customers want to trust you and they want to believe what you say; if you release a statement in regard to COVID19 but then immediately went back to your regular programming, your statement would be deemed disingenuous, even if that wasn’t the case once that feeling is out there, it’s nearly impossible to contain.
Your job as a marketer is to meet people where they are and right now many people are scared, bored, and confused.
Your ads should offer assistance or a respite, they should not be asking for anything.
That isn’t to say that you’re not advertising but a change in tone, an adjustment to your imaging, those small things can go a long way.
Adaptability: Things are changing daily and in huge ways. In the span of a week we went from normal to total lock down.
The adjustments we are making as individuals are not small, for some they are life changing and that means being ready for whatever comes next, as marketers that preparedness is necessary.
Adaptability means more than being willing to change but in this case, anticipating it, having contingencies in place, but also being more transparent with your client base.
The veil between client and business has thinned a bit, and with this new level of intimacy we are able to navigate these unknown waters with a bit more freedom because our clients can see us struggling and adapting just like they are.
Changes in Dialogue: Long gone are the days of email blasts in all caps, ads stating things as urgent and intense calls to action.
With the world at the edge of its seat the last thing people need is anymore pressure. Your ads should provide a solution not cause another problem.
Instead of including your regular call to action that says, “call now!”, perhaps your ad says, “we’ll be here when you’re ready.”
Your client still knows they need to reach out, but they feel supported instead of pressured and they get a sense that you will take care of them.
Your clients need to feel supported and seen by your organization and right now, and your ads have the power to do that.
Breakdown in Communication: The way we communicate with each other is different now.
When we’re available, what device we use, and what’s expected to be completed are all unknown currently.
Your team is going to have to learn to pitch differently, you’ll have to learn how to communicate enthusiasm virtually and you’ll need to utilize all of the tools you possess to do so.
When it comes to your ads, people are on their phone now more than ever, your visibility will increase so it’s essential that what you say and how you say it sends the right message.
People never remember the apology, they only remember why the apology was necessary; remember that.
As with anything, a true master of their trade knows when to go harder and when to pull back; maybe your ads stop for a while to bring attention to a cause, maybe your ads increase to bolster the visibility of our heroes, whatever you choose to do will be remembered, so make sure to take your time!
COVID taught us that though a customer may know your organization, when big things happen they want to see the people, they need to see the humanity behind the ads; how you respond matters.
Taking time and taking stock are imperative in times like these; no one knows what to say or what to do, and it’s your responsibility to provide an air of composure and stability, not only to your customers but also your competitors.
Humanity can’t be conjured and it can’t be faked, the goal here should be to connect — the business will follow.
What Trends Will Stick Around?
COVID made us resourceful and that resourcefulness led to the creation and reimagining of some amazing marketing tools and techniques.
While some I can’t wait to move on from (bye bye Zoom meetings), others I hope are here to stay!
Interactive Content: People are bored so companies have been giving them things to do!
In participating, your clients are not only learning about your organization but they may be learning a skill or gaining insight.
This bond can open the lines of communication, lead to further inquiries or simply entertain.
No matter the outcome, you’ve given someone an experience and that is a memory; though the turnover may not be immediate, you have planted a seed and with more communication and more honesty that seed will grow into a fully committed client.
Value Of Ads Increases: Since various lines of communication have been cut and people aren’t as readily available to speak, the value of your ads and their worth has increased exponentially.
What do I mean?
Say your ad was seen ten times a day before, your team made hundreds of calls, and answered hundreds of emails, all in the same day.
Currently it’s very unlikely that you are making those same calls and answering the same amount of emails, simply because people aren’t available, but your ads are now seen thirty times a day because of increased traffic.
Those ads are now the most important part of your campaign. What you post has to be all encompassing, empathetic and entertaining.
We’ve seen a new type of ad, a new style of marketing, and the impact our online ads can have. When this is all over, people will go back to work, and those lines of communication will be reopened.
Your job will be to make sure your ads continue to perform.
If you are able to secure your space right now, and create content that people not only enjoy but seek out, you can keep that increased value on your ads while you return to the in office meeting and phone calls.
Become a source people trust, and they’ll have no reason to stop, even when things go back to normal.
Giving Back: Organizations worldwide have rallied around healthcare workers and frontline employees, and those who haven’t have been met with harsh criticism.
This doesn’t mean to donate for attention and this doesn’t mean donation is mandatory, depending on the size of your organization it may not be possible.
What is possible is helping. There is always a way to help.
Restaurants providing free meals, clothing brands offering discounts, and landlords providing leeway for rent payments; all of these acts of kindness will be remembered and they mean something, they make us feel a sense of community, a sense of oneness.
Post COVID I believe we will see more of this sort of this selfless behavior because not only are consumers impressed, but employees feel a sense of pride in their organization; that is a morale boost that organizations will want to hold onto.
A pandemic came and turned the world upside down, and though the fight is long from over, I am confident we will all come out of this situation changed.
We’ve learned the value of a brand and what that brand stands for, and we’ve learned just how much people truly care.
If you take anything away from this, remember that your clients truly do care about who you are, not only what you do.